ACF Recognizes Refugee Resettlement Community Leaders

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Contact: Kenneth J. Wolfe
(202) 401-9215


The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognized three members of the refugee resettlement community for their invaluable support to refugees resettling in the United States. The awards were given during ORR’s National Consultation event in Washington, DC.

“These individuals have helped countless numbers of refugees, including young children and adults, overcome their hardships and transition smoothly into our country,” said Carmen R. Nazario, HHS assistant secretary for children and families. “I congratulate them on their achievements and for giving the gift of a new start.”

The following individuals received awards in recognition of their achievements from the Office of Refugee Resettlement:

Loc Nguyen, director of Catholic Charities’ immigration and refugee department received the “Excellence in Leadership” award. Mr. Nguyen, a former refugee himself, oversees one of the largest and busiest immigration and refugee resettlement offices in the country, assisting an average of 10,000 refugees and immigrants per year.

Dr. Edwin Silverman, state refugee coordinator, received the “Lifetime Commitment” award. Dr. Silverman has devoted over 34 years to helping refugees resettle in the state of Illinois. Dr. Silverman was recognized for his significant contributions, including training and mentoring others, shaping refugee resettlement programs, and transferring institutional knowledge in the field.

Ms. Dana Mercz, program director for Catholic Charities’ community services unaccompanied minors program in Arizona. For over 20 years, Ms. Mercz assisted refugee children who are part of ORR’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program, which is responsible for helping refugee adolescents develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and become contributing members of their communities. 
ORR is founded on the belief that newly arriving refugees have inherent capabilities when given opportunities. ORR provides refugees with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.

For more information on the Office of Refugee Resettlement please visit:


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